How to store garlic and onion to make them last a long time

Do you happen to buy garlic or onion in large quantities and have no idea how to store them in order to always have them ready to flavor your dishes? You are gripped by eternal doubt; refrigerator or pantry? Do not worry, you are in the right place; here is a simple guide to store onion and garlic in the correct way, safeguarding aromas and flavor.

By Cookist
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Onion and garlic are the essential basis for mirepoix and sauces, so they are always present in our kitchens. Is it possible to always have our basic ingredients such as garlic and onion available, without having to go to the greengrocer every day? The answer is yes and it is also much simpler than you might imagine. Follow our tips to correctly store onion and garlic, avoiding mold and bacteria and safeguarding aromas and flavors.

How to store onion

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White, golden or red, preserving the onion so as to have it available for a long time is not only possible, but also very simple. To prevent it from becoming moldy or mushy, it is important that the onion is stored in a cool and dry place away from heat sources. If you have a cellar, arrange the onions in a wicker basket, covered with newspaper sheets, excellent for absorbing moisture and protecting your onions, alternatively you can keep them hanging in a braid.

If you don't have a cellar available, don't worry, even a simple pantry or kitchen counter will do just fine; just place the onions in a paper bag that you will have slightly pierced (the bread bag, so to speak) or in a cardboard box. You will have to keep the onions away from sources of light or heat, in this way you can have them available for up to two weeks. To preserve the onion, it is always better to avoid hermetically sealed containers, made of plastic or glass. And once peeled? Simple; if you have some leftover already cut, you can freeze it in a special bag, and if not cut, you can store the onion in the refrigerator, in the fruit drawer and consume it within 2-3 days.

How to store garlic

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A little like onions, there are also several simple methods for storing garlic that share a simple rule; the perfect temperature to keep the garlic firm and always available is around 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) in a dry and distant place away from sources of light and heat. In the cellar; perfect temperature, better to keep the garlic hanging in braids, you will have it available for months and you will not risk finding it sprouted or moldy. In the pantry; keep the garlic, without washing or peeling it, in a paper bag or in a cardboard box, in this way it will last for several weeks. Third possibility; in an open container, preferably earthenware, simply on the kitchen counter, away from light or the hob, and remember that heat is not your ally when we talk about prolonged storage. Once opened? You can freeze it but the advice is to keep it in a glass and consume it within a couple of days.

Refrigerator yes or no?

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You may have guessed it but, when in doubt, we repeat it;  garlic and onion should not be stored in the refrigerator. The reason? Too low and moist temperatures can transform the starches of the onion into sugars, making it terribly soft, and accelerate the germination of the garlic, which could mold in a short time. However, every rule has its exception and the refrigerator is the right place to store, guess what, the shallot which, being richer in liquids, needs to be refrigerated, always better if in a paper bag.

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